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The Home of Reflective Supervision        

Talking Life has developed a high-quality range of legal courses, which has attracted outstanding feedback across our client database. Our Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) course uses highly innovative techniques, including the use of actors and our Court Skills training is proving highly effective in preparing Social Care Professionals (and others) for appearances in Court and Writing Reports for Court. Our Court skills and Expert Witness training team is led by a senior Barrister, and our ABE course is led by a former senior specialist police officer. Other specialist legal training is available, including on the new Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) and on features of relevant Safeguarding legislation.

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Our Legal Courses

Court Skills for Adult Social Workers

Delegates attending this Court Skills for Adult Social Workers Training course are called upon to prepare statements and reports for use in court proceedings involving vulnerable adults and to, potentially, attend court to give oral evidence based upon those reports. The course will provide the necessary skills to enable delegates to produce concise, accurate and compelling written evidence and give guidance as to how to present that evidence to best effect in the courtroom. The second day of the course enables delegates to practise giving oral evidence in a formal setting and to be cross examined by our experienced barrister-trainer.

Family Law and the Legal System

This a one-day course designed to provide social workers with a good working knowledge of all the different aspects of family law as well as the legal system of England and Wales The course is conducted in a dynamic, informal and accessible way. Delegates are encouraged to participate in group discussions, share experiences and ask questions at any time The course adheres to the requirements set out in the Department for Education’s “Post-qualifying standard: knowledge and skills statement for child and family practitioners” (KSS) and within the Professional Capabilities Framework of the British Association of Social Workers

Writing Section 7 and 37 Reports

The Writing Section 7 and 37 Reports Training course provides a detailed guide as to the construction of these important court reports. The legal basis of the reports (and the differences between them) is explained and participants introduced to the basic formats and shown many of the common pifalls in drafting reports to the court. Particular regard is had to analysing how the writer of the report can provide the court with accurate, fair and trustworthy evidence, insulated from cross examination. Participants are given guidance as to the rules regarding information gathering and how to discern the relevant from the irrelevant as well as the opportunity to analyse good (and bad) examples of report writing. Additional guidance is given as to the lead up to a court appearance, courtroom etiquette and the realities of cross examination.

Advanced Statement Writing & Court Skills

Our Advanced Statement Writing and Court Skills aims to deliver a good working knowledge about the inner-workings of a courtroom setting and prepare you to appear in a courtroom environment. You will identify issues (and include facts which support these issues), the source and weight of evidence while insulating written evidence against cross-examination. The course will explore the layout and formalities which take place within court as well as the use of exhibits/appendices/photos/plans/maps and using contemporaneous notes as the basis for statements/reports. You’ll learn how to deliver your statements clearly, getting your message across to your peers. The course will give you an opportunity to develop an objective, critical eye in relation to written evidence and the procedures and process of giving evidence, as well as preparing you to give your own evidence. It will inform you about the roles of the various people in court/tribunal and instill you with the confidence to take the oath or affirmation with certainty. In non-intimidating, realistic role-play, you will gain experience in being cross-examined: learning valuable skills about the techniques lawyers use in cross-examination and how to handle them; how to give clear, honest, impartial testimonies – receiving detailed feedback in order to properly prepare you for the real thing.

Analytical Reporting and Recording

A course to demonstrate how analytical writing requires an assessment of the weight given to information gathered, drawing on knowledge from research, experience and practice, combined with the service users’ needs within the family or the context in which they live. The course aims to improve delegates’ confidence in understanding what is relevant and meaningful, and how to write it down in an effective way

Adult Sexual Exploitation & Adult Criminal Exploitation

This programme aims to give practitioners the opportunity to examine and explore the nature of the exploitation of adults at risk of harm. It will consider the nature of that exploitation and how it can manifest in our communities and care settings in order to help practitioners to intervene in order to minimise either the risk, or experience of, abuse.

Duty of Care

This course will provide participants with a complete understanding surrounding the Duty Care including how duty of care contributes to safe practice

Current Legal Policy in Family Law

The course will provided participants with a comprehensive guide to recent developments in legislation and prospective changes to government policies affecting family law. The course will look at recent and pending legislation, case law, developments in the family courts and the implications of this upon present practice and policy within local authorities together with key changes needed in practice and service delivery

Court of Protection

This Court of Protection Training course provides an overview of the workings and approach of the Court of Protection to family disputes, capacity issues, best interests and safeguarding.

Deprivation of Liberty (Children & Young People)

Significant case law has developed practice in the deprivation of liberty safeguards and their application to children and young people under 18. The law commission has reviewed the legislation relating to mental capacity act 2005 and deprivation of liberty safeguards(DoLs), the recommendation is for a replacement of DoLs with Liberty Protection Safeguards and these be applied to 16/17 years old and extended beyond hospitals and care homes. This will have a significant impact on children’s Social Care and the workforce need to be prepared for the changes in practice. This course will consider the developments in case law and how DoLs has become relevant to Children’s Services’ practitioners. It analyses the ‘Cheshire West’ Case and associated case law developing the scope of parental responsibility’ and its application for children and young people.

Investigative Interviewing

The aim of this course is for the participants to be able to plan, prepare and conduct an interview with a victim and or witness, complying with the requirements and competences compatible with carrying out an interview and investigation.

Healthcare Ethics

This interactive course will consider healthcare related ethics; the law and the grey issues of patient/client confidentiality, young people, end of life ethics and with illnesses such as HIV.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Sweeping changes to the law and practice of the Court of Protection in 2007 radically overhauled this growing topic. Aside from looking at the law and procedure of powers of attorney you will also consider the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 more broadly. The course will look at the role of the Court of Protection and an overview of the forms required to appoint a deputy

Mental Capacity Act (MCA) & Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

This course has been designed to increase the theoretical knowledge of health and social care professionals on the up to date legal framework, code of practice and human rights that covers the patients’ capacity to make decisions, protection of their cognitive decision making process, and understanding the principles of proper care towards these vulnerable patients and clients.

Preparing for the LPS (Liberty Protection Safeguards)

Replacing the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 is expected to come into force from April 2023. The new system (expected to be referred to as the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS)) will cover care in a wider range of settings. NHS bodies, Local Authorities and Care Providers will all need to understand their new responsibilities and start preparing to implement the new system.

Recruitment & Selection (Legal)

This half day session is taken from a full day practical skills course that is primarily designed around equipping line managers who are actively involved in recruiting and selecting employees with the knowledge and skills to hire employees in line with UK employment law. In addition, the full day course takes a deeper dive into issues of conscious and unconscious bias in hiring managers that can impact the selection process and put a business at risk from claims of direct and indirect discrimination under the equality act.

Special Guardianship Orders

This course is designed to provide professionals working with children and families a good understanding of the terms, effects and principles of Special Guardianship Orders. Delegates are introduced to the legislation and regulations and are provided with a detailed analysis as to how that legislation impacts upon decision making and best practice in the real world. The course also includes in depth consideration of the role of the Local Authority, an analysis of the construction of the “SGO report” in the context of the court decision making process and an examination of the often controversial requirements of the “support package”. There is an update of recent relevant case law, regulations and policy

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – for Managers & Team Leaders

This course is designed to show and help team leaders understand their responsibilities to ensure that the workplace is one where all risks are minimised from cases of sexual harassment occurring. To do this, the trainer will get team leaders to explore and understand what is expected of them under company policy and UK law as well what is expected of them as part of their legal duty of care towards their teams. The session will help them understand what actions to take where they see inappropriate conduct taking place or if they receive a complaint directly. The session will also seek to dispel notions that there is a difference between banter and sexual harassment in the workplace as well as look at how our own psychological biases can influence and inadvertently support a culture where harassment can happen.

Human Rights

This Human Rights Training course will provide attendees with a comprehensive overview of the Human Rights legislation in the UK. Attendees will explore the background and current position of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights. Attendees will explore the difference between limited, qualified, and absolute rights. Attendees will also look at how Human Rights should be considered within social care practice, and, how issues with competing rights are addressed.

The Mental Capacity Act – Chairing Best Interest Meetings

• Introduction, terminology, learning outcomes & benchmarking • An overview of the Mental Capacity Act with a focus on: 1. Mental Capacity assessments 2. Best Interest decisions • Identification of when a BIM needs to be convened • Identification of the ‘decision maker’ • Consideration of who needs to attend a BIM • Identification of the information required to make a BID • Consider how information needs to be analysed to arrive at a defensible BID • The BIM process • Case law which supports various elements of BID making (including wishes and feelings, rights vs risk, disagreements, etc) • When the Court of Protection needs to be engaged • Evidencing BID’s • Consider core BID chairing and making skills (defensible practice, section 5 defences, etc)

Appropriate Adult and PACE 1984 (updated 2019)

The role of the Appropriate Adult was created in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 (updated 2019), with the intention of safeguarding the rights and welfare of young people and vulnerable adults in custody. When someone is arrested by the police and taken to a police station they have three basic rights; • The right to free and independent legal advice • The right to have someone informed of their arrest • The right to consult the Codes Of Practice (concerning police powers and procedures) Having identified a young person or a vulnerable adult, the custody officer has a duty to request the attendance of a responsible adult, ( known as an ‘Appropriate Adult’) .This role is different to that of a solicitor. An Appropriate Adult can be a family member, friend or a volunteer or social / health care professional. The training will provide the knowledge base required to fulfil the above role in an appropriate manner. It will instruct and update professionally qualified staff from health and social services (who work with adults with mental health problems or learning disabilities that make them vulnerable), on the subject of PACE and Appropriate Adult work

Legal Literacy

This one day course on legal literacy will cover all the major legislations such as Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, Care Act including dual sensory loss and Human Rights Act.

Section 47

This course will assist practitioners with child protection responsibilities to reflect on the process of probing and reflective questioning and analysis to form a view about risk and harm and the parent’s capacity to meet their child’s needs. At the end of the course, participants will have developed their ability to critically evaluate practice actions and decision making to enable practitioners to be confident and persuasive when recommending a course of action to parents, to colleagues and to courts to protect a child.

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